Reviews: Critics Are Weighing In On Sarah Ruhl's Witchy Becky Nurse of Salem | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: Critics Are Weighing In On Sarah Ruhl's Witchy Becky Nurse of Salem

2022 Tony winner Deirdre O'Connell stars as the modern-day descendant of a woman accused of being a with during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.

Deirdre O'Connell (center) and company of Becky Nurse of Salem Kyle Froman

Since Sarah Ruhl's Becky Nurse of Salem opened December 4, critics' reviews have been rolling in for the Off-Broadway production at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. The dark comedy began previews November 8 after a delayed start to the run due to positive COVID cases.

2022 Tony winner Deirdre O'Connell (Dana H.) stars as Becky, the modern-day descendant of Rebecca Nurse who was accused of being a witch during the historic 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Joining O'Connell in the cast are Tina Benko, Candy Buckley, Alicia Crowder, Thomas Jay Ryan, Julian Sanchez, and Bernard White under the direction of Rebecca Taichman (Indecent).

Read the reviews here.

New York Stage Review (David Finkle)

New York Stage Review (Melissa Rose Bernardo)

New York Sun (Elysa Gardner)*

New York Theatre Guide (Gillian Russo)

The New York Times (Maya Phillips)*

Talkin' Broadway (Howard Miller)

Theater Pizzazz (Carol Rocamora)

Theatermania (Zachary Stewart)

Theatrely (Juan A. Ramirez)

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)

*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Becky works at Salem's witch museum, but she seems to be dogged by bad luck as she looks for love and redemption through spells, pills, and a bartender named Bob. In Ruhl's update on America's famous witch trials for a modern age, Becky also faces her family's legacy as the play explores questions about what's really changed for American women in 300 years.

The work began with Ruhl wanted to write a more historically accurate version of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (which is referenced in the play), but it developed into something beyond Ruhl's original intentions. Read more about what inspired the playwright in this interviewBecky Nurse of Salem originally made its world premiere in 2019 at Berkeley Rep.

Deirdre O'Connell in Becky Nurse of Salem Kyle Froman

Becky Nurse of Salem features sets by Riccardo Hernandez, costumes by Emily Rebholz, lighting by Barbara Samuels, sound by Palmer Hefferan, and projections by Tal Yarden. Suzzy Roche is the composer, and Caroline Englander is the stage manager.

Ruhl is also the playwright of How to Transcend a Happy Marriage; The Oldest Boy; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday; Stage Kiss; Dear Elizabeth; Passion Play, a cycle; Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award); Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando; and Late: a cowboy song.

Check out production photos in the gallery below.

See Photos of the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Becky Nurse of Salem


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